South West : Don’t forget spring crops

Except for localised showers, the hot, dry weather has continued  this week. The start of barley harvest is only days away and wheat on lighter ground is clearly beginning to senesce.

Pre-harvest glyphosate is being applied to winter oilseed rape this week. As usual, hitting the correct application timing is awkward where crops are uneven in maturity and in some cases late patches will have to be sprayed separately.

It is a good time to inspect wheat fields for pre-harvest treatments. There are some dirty crops,especially where spring weed control has not worked fully. Grain has to be below 30% moisture content before applying glyphosate and crops grown for seed should not be treated.

With thoughts on the approaching harvest, it is easy to forget the spring crops which still have some way to go. Aphids are building-up in spring beans and peas.

Keep checking crops and in peas remember that the aphids often lurk inside the flowers, not being obvious at first glance. Bees will be foraging in crops so please spray only if strictly necessary, using a bee-safe insecticide, applied in the evening.

There has been very little disease in spring beans this year but do continue to monitor crops for rust, which can spread rapidly, killing the foliage prematurely.

Spring rape is in full flower and looks well. Despite early treatment, pollen beetles have removed many pod-sites and it remains to be seen how much yield loss has occurred.

Don’t forget grain store hygiene before refilling the barn. Actellic can no longer be used for spraying the store for insect pests but Reldan is available.


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